All-in-one alleater streamer with HDD for Xmas

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All-in-one alleater streamer with HDD for Xmas

Postby A64 » Fri Nov 08 2019 10:19

Dear Forum Members,

this is the 1st time I use this forum because after 2 days of seaching, googling and crawling on the web I'm still confused, how to proceed to my goal. Which is actually very simple: I'd like to build a RPi based quality player device for my father, he has a reasonably good hifi at home, medium sized (rather big) 3-way stereo, good-old Technics amp with RCA inputs - and his good-old Technics CD player.

But he plays the piano, he's very musical and has excellent hearing so I'd like to build him an audiophile player device in form of a flat set-top-box (or like a CD player, dac, etc).

My problem is not the solution itself - the RASPDAC Mini from Audiophonics would just fit my needs perfectly - if it had some more space for a 2.5" or even 3.5" NAS hard drive. (1-4 TB, connected via SATA3 - USB adapter and then connected to the Pi internally).

- So now I'm looking for somewhat bigger cases but then what kind of back panel do I use for the appliance ? There're tons of great aluminum cases out there, even mITX compatible ones, but the back panel is an issue then, I assume I would need something unique for that.

- I don't want to use the RASPDAC case with an external separate USB HDD, that's just not the same. I need 1 piece of do-everything device. However, the RASPDAC solution itself is very appealing to me, with the ES9038Q2M. Maybe I can put a reclocker (IANCANADA or Kali) between the Pi and the DAC hat, too (I need to check).

How would you proceed ?

Shall I maybe get all the Pi stack, put it into a good looking basic case from Aliexpress, get a back panel for the Pi itself and re-solder the DAC RCA outs onto that new back panel ? + of course a little PSU inside the whole stack, with proper shielding, separate PSU for the Pi, the 3.5" HDD and all that stuff and at the end I have the final solution..

I could also use a flat nice passive cooled mini ITX case and make all that happen on x86 platform, but such motherboards don't have I2S pins sadly so I cannot use this little 9038Q2M DAC board with that.

I just want to pack everything into one case so that my father doesn't have to deal with a DIY cable mess. :D

Many thanks :)
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All-in-one alleater streamer with HDD for Xmas

Postby chsims1 » Sat Nov 09 2019 09:14

You seem to answered your original question yourself here ;). Decide what you want to enclose, find a nice case, and customise the back panel for outputs. I'd just be a bit wary of how warm it gets though, especially if using a RPi 4 (along with power supplies and HDD).

Good luck and let us know how you get on.
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All-in-one alleater streamer with HDD for Xmas

Postby Bigguy2018 » Tue Nov 12 2019 08:50

You'll have to make a back panel to suit - mark up, drill, file and spray paint.
There are lots of nice cases on Ebay.
Use short extension cables from RPi to back panel and a 2.5" USB HDD.
RPi4 will need a decent heatsink and a fan - this can be powered from a USB port (I use a 12V fan on the 5V USB supply, it's very quiet)

Here's one I made earlier...
https://forum.volumio.org/volumio-build-t9833.html
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All-in-one alleater streamer with HDD for Xmas

Postby A64 » Fri Nov 15 2019 20:36

chsims1 wrote:You seem to answered your original question yourself here ;). Decide what you want to enclose, find a nice case, and customise the back panel for outputs. I'd just be a bit wary of how warm it gets though, especially if using a RPi 4 (along with power supplies and HDD).

Good luck and let us know how you get on.


I just got my Pi4/4G yesterday, works like a charm, now still standalone via Jack into my PC's Logitech 2.1, but I'm really surprised how decent the SQ is despite being on a relatively lo-fi hardware. :D

Then came my 32-Ohm Takstar Pro82 headphone, well, not that bad at all as most people are claiming.. I don't say I got tears in my eyes but hey, not bad from a little small noisy caseless minicomputer. :) I can absolutely enjoy it now without separate DAC as a casual listening device and I wouldn't say my Honor 20 phone performs much better here.

Anyway, here it is and after some WiFi issues I'm just experimenting with it and enjoying my music collection ;)

(Strangely the Pi connects to my little Huawei mini hotspot but it's fully unreachable, no matter what settings I use on the hotspot. On my phone's hotspot it works like a charm, just like on my ASUS WiFi router).
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All-in-one alleater streamer with HDD for Xmas

Postby A64 » Fri Nov 15 2019 20:47

Bigguy2018 wrote:You'll have to make a back panel to suit - mark up, drill, file and spray paint.
There are lots of nice cases on Ebay.
Use short extension cables from RPi to back panel and a 2.5" USB HDD.
RPi4 will need a decent heatsink and a fan - this can be powered from a USB port (I use a 12V fan on the 5V USB supply, it's very quiet)

Here's one I made earlier...
https://forum.volumio.org/volumio-build-t9833.html


- Yeah, that hardware work for a back panel, uh.. :geek: Maybe I'm just waiting a bit 'til ecosystem builds around the Pi4 as well and someone offers a back panel for a standalone Pi.

- For cooling I'm going to 'push' the Pi against a wall of the amp case. Pretty thick aluminum wall, it will spread that little heat easily I think. Like a transistor, or a Class D amp block. Alternatively I might use the Pi as usual and cool it with a passive cooler like this: https://www.amazon.com/RICHEN-Raspberry-Enclosure-Dissipation-Compatible/dp/B07XZ1QBQY?psc=1&SubscriptionId=AKIAILSHYYTFIVPWUY6Q&tag=duckduckgo-d-20&linkCode=xm2&camp=2025&creative=165953&creativeASIN=B07XZ1QBQY
.. and then put a silent PC fan at low RPMs into the case.

- For GPIO extension a normal 40-pin (not 80-pin) IDE cable is enough, right ? A short one. I read that should work just fine, has anybody tried it already ?

Well, so far I'm enjoying my little device, hanging on it's own now in the air on the USB-C and jack cable (don't shoot me) :mrgreen: , playing Gabriela Anders' Wanted album, and I really like the experimental v3 UI ;)
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All-in-one alleater streamer with HDD for Xmas

Postby A64 » Fri Nov 15 2019 20:49

Bigguy2018 wrote:You'll have to make a back panel to suit - mark up, drill, file and spray paint.
Here's one I made earlier...
https://forum.volumio.org/volumio-build-t9833.html


Nice build, exactly something what I'm going for too..
BTW my Pi's HDD now is the very same 500GB WD toy :D in an external case via USB3.
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